Skip to main content

The Longest Tenured Player Per Team: Stephen Curry Is The Most Loyal Star In The NBA

The Longest Tenured Player Per Team: Stephen Curry Is The Most Loyal Star In The NBA

Player loyalty isn't a common thing in today's NBA, but some players have remained with one franchise for their entire careers. When analyzing their tenures with their respective franchises, it is clear to see which players will be loyal for life.

We have compiled a list of every NBA franchise with each of its most tenured players. Some inclusions may be surprising due to constant roster changes, while others won't be surprising at all. Without further ado, here is the longest-tenured player per team in the NBA right now.

Atlanta Hawks - John Collins (4 Seasons)

The talented offensive forward has been in trade talks a few times this season, but he is still the longest-tenured Atlanta Hawk. Collins is a natural at scoring the ball inside, and he is improving his all-around game as well. The 2018 All-Rookie is having a strong year averaging 17.8 PPG and 7.7 RPG, and he is a nice addition for an up-and-coming Hawks team as a 23-year old. Collins will only get better and that means his stock will only rise with Atlanta.

Boston Celtics - Marcus Smart (7 Seasons)

Marcus Smart was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2014 as the No. 6 overall pick. The stocky guard made the All-Rookie Team thanks to his defensive play and has since made 2 All-Defensive Teams with the Celtics. In terms of hard-nosed defense and a willingness to improve his outside shot, Smart is one of the key players in Boston's system. Unless the Celtics can acquire a superstar player for a package including Smart, he will be a Celtic player for a while.

Brooklyn Nets - Joe Harris (5 Seasons)

Joe Harris has come a long way since getting drafted in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. Harris never averaged double-digits in scoring until the 2018 season, and he became one of the best shooters in the NBA last season. Harris was signed to a big-money deal by the Nets this offseason and with the money he is owed, he should be in Brooklyn for the foreseeable future. Especially since he plays with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving; he will be getting a lot of open looks.

Charlotte Hornets - Cody Zeller (8 Seasons)

One of the longest-tenured players for one franchise in the league, Zeller has played nearly a decade with the Charlotte Hornets. Zeller is a capable center who is athletic enough to defend the rim and run the floor which is why he is averaging 22.8 MPG over his career. Zeller was drafted with the No. 4 pick in the 2013 draft, and the 28-year old has remained in Charlotte for his entire career so far.

Chicago Bulls - Christian Felicio (6 Seasons)

The 6'11" center from Brazil has been a Chicago Bulls player longer than anyone else on the roster. This may seem surprising as he never averaged over 5.6 PPG over a single season, but his size makes him a capable role player to play minutes behind starters. Felicio is only averaging 4.5 MPG so far this season, so his time in Chicago could be up if he is after anything but a minimum deal.

Cleveland Cavaliers - Kevin Love (7 Seasons)

Kevin Love has had a longer tenure with the Cavaliers than he did with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love was a superstar with Minnesota and was a key part of the Big Three that won the NBA title in 2016. NBA fans were confused when Cleveland signed Love to a max deal following the departure of LeBron James, but the Cavaliers knew they would not get a chance at signing an All-Star again. Anyhow, Love's time in Cleveland may be coming to a close very soon.

Dallas Mavericks - Dwight Powell (7 Seasons)

Dwight Powell has been a Dallas Maverick for a long time now, as he nears completion of 7 seasons with the team. The 6'10" big man was mainly a paint protector and rebounder who is slowly expanding his offensive game as he matures. Powell has always been a role player for the Mavericks and for what he brings to the table, there is no reason why he should not be in Dallas for the foreseeable future.

Denver Nuggets - Nikola Jokic (6 Seasons)

26-year old superstar Nikola Jokic was a surprising pick by the Nuggets in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. Jokic looked slow and out of shape (which he was and probably is), but he had a knack for being effective on the court. Following an All-Rookie campaign, he has blossomed into the MVP of the league this season and a franchise player for one of the best teams in the West. Jokic should be a Nugget for life as long as Denver continue building around him.

Detroit Pistons - Sekou Doumbouya (2 Seasons)

Second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya is the longest-tenured Detroit Piston. That is surprising if you do not take into a massive roster overhaul into consideration. Detroit traded Andre Drummond last season, and are going into full rebuild mode at the moment. Doumbouya is likely a player they would like to keep for the long-term because his size and athleticism make him a franchise cornerstone for a team like the Pistons.

Golden State Warriors - Stephen Curry (12 Seasons)

Mr. Warrior himself, Stephen Curry has been a loyal servant to Golden State for over a decade now. Curry is the undisputed best point guard in the NBA and the franchise player in the city of Golden State, and the 2-time MVP has shown tremendous loyalty. The Warriors took a chance at drafting a slender and injury-prone guard with the No. 7 pick, and Curry has rewarded them by bringing 3 NBA titles to the city. As one of the best Warriors players in their history, Curry is probably a Warrior for life.

Houston Rockets - Eric Gordon (5 Seasons)

Eric Gordon has always been a wing player who can light it up, and he has been doing it consistently for 5 straight seasons with the Rockets. Gordon was acquired from New Orleans in 2015 to bolster Houston's bench, and that was one of the best moves made by former GM Daryl Morey. Gordon is the longest-tenured Rocket thanks to the departure of James Harden, and there is certainly a new era in Houston right now.

Indiana Pacers - Myles Turner (6 Seasons)

Drafted as a 19-year-old with the No. 11 pick in the 2015 draft, Turner has carved out a solid role with the Pacers. The shot-blocking extraordinaire is a solid player who is still only 24 years of age, so it is only natural he receives a lot of attention in trade talks. Turner is the longest-tenured Pacer after a new era around Domantas Sabonis is being built right now.

Los Angeles Clippers - Patrick Beverley (4 Seasons)

The Los Angeles Clippers have undergone a massive roster overhaul as of last season, bringing in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. With these two stars, the Clippers are in win-now mode, and that even means Lou Williams was traded before the trade deadline this season. That means Patrick Beverley is the longest-tenured Clipper and his hard-nosed defensive play is the reason he has held that fact for this long.

Los Angeles Lakers - Kyle Kuzma (4 Seasons)

Believe it or not, Kyle Kuzma is the longest-tenured Laker with 4 seasons under his belt. He, alongside Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, was expected to be long-term players for the future of Los Angeles. But the arrival of LeBron James in Los Angeles sparked a win-now mentality, which saw young stars leave the door but Kuzma remained. His confidence and willingness to take big shots has him a job in LA right now, but if he can't improve his play, he might not be there for too long.

Memphis Grizzlies - Dillon Brooks (4 Seasons)

Streaky scorer Dillon Brooks has been in Memphis for 4 seasons, the longest of any player playing for the Grizzlies. Gone are the days of Mike Conley Jr and Marc Gasol upholding the loyalty gene, as there is a new era in Memphis spearheaded by second-year guard Ja Morant. Brooks has done well in Memphis playing 28.1 MPG and averaging 13.7 PPG for his career so far.

Miami Heat - Udonis Haslem (17 Seasons)

Udonis Haslem is the longest active player in the NBA right now, playing almost 2 decades with one team. Haslem was the tough defender with a mid-range jumper during the 2006 title run in Miami and has been the locker room veteran ever since. Haslem is the ultimate glue guy in the locker room, and he has been the main guy upholding Pat Riley's philosophies for all these years.

Milwaukee Bucks - Giannis Antetokounmpo (8 Seasons)

Giannis Antetokounmpo is not only the best player in the city of Milwaukee but also the longest-tenured player. The Greek Freak has been there 8 years and he has pledged his loyalty to the city that took a chance on him with the No. 15 pick in the 2013 draft. Giannis is already a 2-time MVP with the Bucks and over the past 3 seasons, has made them a championship contender. As long as the Bucks compete, Giannis will be in Milwaukee for the long term.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns (6 Seasons)

Minnesota's superstar and franchise player Karl-Anthony Towns is their longest-tenured player. Towns was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and has rewarded the Timberwolves with superstar play on both ends. The 2-time All-Star is just getting started in the league, and if the Timberwolves fail to build a contender around him, they are in deep trouble of not keeping one of the best young players in the world.

New Orleans Pelicans - Zion Williamson (2 Seasons)

The longest-tenured player on the Pelicans is also the face of the franchise. Zion Williamson, despite playing in his second season, is the best player on the team with the most experience alongside Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. Williamson is an All-Star in his second season, averaging 26.9 PPG, and he should be the superstar in New Orleans for the foreseeable future. Because otherwise, losing Zion Williamson would be the biggest disaster to ever happen to the New Orleans basketball team.

New York Knicks - Frank Ntilikina (4 Seasons)

The Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina in the 2017 draft, much to the dismay of Knicks fans. The lanky defensive point guard from France didn't look like much on draft night as Knicks fans wanted athletic phenom Dennis Smith Jr instead. Ntilikina has had a very underwhelming career so far, but he has been a backup point guard for the Knicks for 4 seasons so far.

Oklahoma City Thunder - Darius Bazley (2 Seasons)

It will forever be strange that neither Kevin Durant nor Russell Westbrook are the longest-tenured Thunder player, especially when that player is actually 20-year old Darius Bazley. The Thunder have undergone massive roster transformations over the years, leaving Bazley the veteran on the team with only 2 years of experience. Oklahoma City are in it for the long term and Bazley is their longest-tenured player right now.

Orlando Magic - Terrence Ross (5 Seasons)

Terrence Ross has been in the NBA for 9 years so far, spotting the 2017 season with the Raptors and Magic. Counting his 2017 season, Ross is the longest-tenured Magic player on a team that is in complete rebuild mode. When looking at the Magic, no player will be on the roster long-term except Jonathan Isaac and probably Markelle Fultz (if he ever overcomes his injury problems). As of now, Ross is the main veteran in Orlando.

Philadelphia 76ers - Joel Embiid (7 Seasons)

The No.3 pick in the 2014 draft, Joel Embiid was given plenty of time to overcome injuries which kept him out of the first two years of his career. Embiid has rewarded Philadelphia for exceptional play at the center position, making the last 4 All-Star Teams. Embiid is one of the top players in the game, and even when Philadelphia had other big men like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor on their roster, they knew Embiid would become a star and he certainly has.

Phoenix Suns - Devin Booker (6 Seasons)

Surprisingly, 24-year old Devin Booker is the longest-tenured player on the Phoenix Suns. That goes to show how young the team is, and also how Booker has elevated his game at such a young age. The 2-time All-Star is already one of the best scorers in the league and he seems to be a star who will remain where he is for a very long time. The 2015 draft pick has rewarded Phoenix with exceptional offensive play so far during each of his 6 seasons there.

Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard (9 Seasons)

The superstar and franchise player of the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard is also the longest-tenured star in the league. When it comes to loyalty, Lillard probably ranks at the top. He wants to win in Portland at all costs and does not wish to join other stars to take the easy road. Lillard is a 6-time All-Star who has been a Trail Blazer for 9 seasons, and he would probably remain there for the rest of his career as long as they contend.

Sacramento Kings - Buddy Hield (5 Seasons)

When looking at Sacramento, they have undergone a ton of changes over the past few years. The Kings haven't been in the playoffs since 2006, and their roster is constantly changing. But Buddy Hield, the No. 6 Pick in the 2016 draft, has been in Sacramento for 6 straight seasons. The sharpshooter was awarded a hefty deal by the Kings and he has averaged over 30 MPG for 3 straight years as a result.

San Antonio Spurs - Patty Mills (10 Years)

The Spurs dynasty of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili is long gone. But one player has remained from that era: Patty Mills. Mills has been a Spur for 10 straight seasons, backing up the starting point guard with his outside shooting. Mills is a fan favorite in San Antonio because he plays hard and lights it up, which is why he has stayed with the franchise for a decade.

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (9 Seasons)

Kyle Lowry is truly a Raptors legend. After helping Toronto develop into a contender alongside DeMar DeRozan, he remained with the Raptors until he was finally able to capture an NBA title in 2019. Lowry has been with the Raptors for 9 seasons in a row and has made 6 All-Star Teams. In terms of loyalty, Lowry is among the top players in the league who have it.

Utah Jazz - Rudy Gobert (8 Seasons)

In Utah, Rudy Gobert is the longest-tenured player. The 27th pick in the 2013 draft, Gobert has remained with the franchise for his entire career so far. Gobert was a lanky center without real impact until his 4th season, where he blossomed into a double-double machine who averaged 2.6 BPG. Gobert is now a 2-time All-Star and the longest-tenured player for Utah.

Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal (9 Seasons)

Bradley Beal is the longest-tenured Wizard, unsurprisingly. Beal started as a raw shooting guard who made the All-Rookie Team in 2013 and blossomed into an All-Star 5 years later. Beal has also been the best player in Washington since John Wall suffered his injuries, and he is the longest-tenured and most respected player in the franchise right now.